What percentage of software engineers are Aspies?

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ACG
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15 Feb 2006, 12:32 pm

I'm mildly curious -- my manager told me that he's never seen anyone like me before (that I'm an extreme case), but I figured that he MUST have before since he's surrounded by programmers.

Is it likely that managers have to deal with Aspies often, especially in the software fields? And more importantly -- if that's the case, would a manager be able to recognize if someone actually HAS AS, especially if he isn't out or diagnosed (as is the case with me)?

Thanks in advance,

ACG


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Jonny
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15 Feb 2006, 1:37 pm

Well now I have a pretty good idea of AS is, whether software engineer or not I have not seen many people out there who I would consider to be suffering from AS. Im not really sure how common AS is.

I think it is safe to say though that a lot of software people are a bit geeky. But being a geek and being an aspie are completely different things. Im in the IT field and Ive met a lot of geeks but i have yet to meet someone who has AS characteristics. Geeks love their technology and niche interests, love to talk on and on about them but to me they don't seem to have any problems with social skills, they get on well with other people and their managers.

I think theres a pretty good chance for an aspie to go into the software field, but whether theres much of a percentage who actually are, im not sure.



jammie
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04 Apr 2006, 8:31 am

hiya,

i am a software engineer of sort (web backends) and i am a borderline aspie.

They did find that AS is alot more coon in silocan vally though. i remeber reading somewhere

Jammmie



Ardamel
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06 Apr 2006, 4:06 am

People with AS will never be many, but in certain professions, we seem to be out of proportion many. Software engineers is one of those professions. I took a class in Linux administration last year, never in my life have I ever seen so many people with Asperger Syndrome before ;) Why they took the class I really don't know, because I was the only aspie there who actually hadn't mastered the basics in Linux system administration beforehand :). Out of 50 students I'd say 4-5 (me excluded) had very clear signs of AS.


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ManErg
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17 May 2006, 4:56 am

I'm a software engineer probably with AS - currently being diagnosed. Funnily enough, I first found out about AS whilst wondering about a colleague who, although we were great friends (geeks united), he did have some very curious traits. My insides felt like they'd fallen out when I realised that AS actually applied much more to me than him.

Don't know whether this is an overall pattern, but in my experience there is a higher percentage of Autistic type traits in smaller companies. Even the founders, the head honchos, can be somewhat AS. Recently I've been working in Big Defence Corporations and here there is a much, much lower percentage of AS. I think that it's maybe 1 in 10 or so and these are the ones who do the actual development work. The other 9 get paid for filling out pointless documentation, attending meetings and succesful body-language interactions with the boss :wink:

And above a certain, quite low level in the heirarchy, AS traits are totally non-existent.

I'd really like to get back to a smaller company to escape from the Dilbert horrors of the big-corps. But it's really difficult as smaller, product based firms don't have the staff turnover of the larger ones. So you get the same 6 devs working at a place for 10 years and no vacancies (unless it's Y2K boom time). And when I've been interviewed, they think I've been corrupted by big-corp mentality ie can't code, just fills in forms all day.



Breakbot
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17 May 2006, 8:06 am

Well, I work at a mobile game dev company, although I'm one of the graphics people and haven't been formally diagnosed. There certainly are a lot of introverted people here, but I'm not sure how many actually have AS. I have suspicions about a few, but I don't know enough about them to know for sure...



ion
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18 May 2006, 2:39 pm

Coder+AS



Ebi
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18 May 2006, 5:18 pm

I work for a media company based on LA that is practically all about design applied to IT, and vice versa. I am not on the IT department but have to deal with those who are in on a daily basis, and I have noticed many of them share traits and habits common to us people with AS. So it leaves me to the conclusion that most guys (and gals) on IT must be either full aspies, extreme geeks, or both.

For some strange reason, this is also the first place on a 10-year-plus career where I don't feel like a complete outcast.


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mielikki
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20 May 2006, 12:34 am

I don't know about software engineers, but quite a few Process Engineers I know are pretty suspect.


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fernando
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03 Jun 2006, 11:08 pm

I have to agree with the 1 in 10 ratio, that's more or less what I've found in college and a development job I had. BTW the male to female ratio would be around 1 in 7 in my surroundings.


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FreeSpirit2000
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29 Jan 2010, 6:11 pm

Probably 1 out of 5, or even 1 out of 3 even, roflmao. This is a common AS career here for sure.



guy_xyz
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31 Jan 2010, 1:58 pm

I've been in tech for almost 20 years and have met a few Aspie candidates but rarely do I see someone I think is more out there than me -- and I think I'm passing -- with the occasional shocking/embarrassing faux pas.

It's disappointing really. I've been to a GRASP meeting and met some more outwardly apparent Aspies. They're not getting hired and I haven't seen them in the workplace.

I think the typical programming geek is on the Aspie spectrum, but still closer to NT than I feel.

g



righton
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31 Jan 2010, 2:34 pm

I work in IT and of the 40 people in my department, I can think of two obvious aspies, plus myself, and a number of people who might be. I'd say 1 in 10 is about right.